Manifestos: Architecture for a New Generation – Jayden Ali, JA Projects (trailer)

13 June - 30 June

"The stale architecture of “new” London - specifically its Vernacular - is misaligned with the city’s effervescent cultural atmosphere.

The built landscape is, for the most part, shackled by historicism, hegemonic, wasteful, elitist, short-termist and anonymous. The city’s cultural landscape - the works of artistic expression that permeate society to shape collective beliefs and prevailing moods - is guided by a new voices advocating eclecticism, responsibility, inclusion, endurance and charisma. If architecture, as a collective discipline, is to be meaningful within our new cultural era it must radically revise its contribution to match the dynamism and relevance other artistic pursuits.

In our new pandemic normality development has slowed, movement has reduced and commissions are harder to come by. The pressure has lifted and the air is cleaner for it. In this pause young practitioners should take a long deep intake… breathe… and find our voice.

To do so we should produce cultural artefacts that have the capacity to shape the city’s spirit, attitudes, trends and norms by telling new stories, advocating new agendas, framing new questions and articulating new aesthetics. These oblique forms of expression provide an opportunity to rethink the relationships between place, objects and people and in-turn offer reflections on the future of our city. Critically they do so without being held hostage to the entrenched and reductive dynastic culture that pervades architecture. It is in the exploration of these diverse realms that we can explore freely the new tectonic qualities and relationships that suit society of tomorrow.

Whilst the air is light and the atmosphere electric, don’t forget to breathe."


"#AmericanGods_250520 is a montage of recent cultural exposure. It processes the complexities embodied within our transatlantic relationship with America where its influential tales of hardship and criminality, debauchery and celebration - both resonate and reflect.

In black culture it’s common for tragic deaths to be memorialised by the printing of T-shirts. The wearing of these commemorative tops is a moment to celebrate the life of the departed and memorialise the tragedy of their passing.

In the past week, it’s been very difficult not to see George Floyd everywhere and George Floyd should be seen everywhere. The tragedy of his murder should infuse all elements of life, much like the wearing of a T-shirt tribute that sears the image of the departed and/or event into our collective memory.

#AmericanGods_250520 takes it’s lead from hip-hop which “pays respect to the past” in order to “look forward to the future”. In its composition and dissemination the artwork probes ideas concerned with conflict, permission, power, idols, projection and resistance. It is a moment of expression that processes the past. A moment of breath towards the future."


‘Manifestos: Architecture for a New Generation’ is an annual collaboration between London Festival of Architecture and the Design Museum, highlighting work by an emerging generation of voices in architecture who are expanding the parameters of what architecture can be, who London is for and what its future holds.

JA Projects is a London based practice working at the intersection of architecture, urban strategy, art and performance. Our projects strike a balance between playfulness and precision, where a creative - often ephemeral - social and performative component is twinned alongside a physical built component.


Jayden Ali was nominated by Neil Pinder, Product Design and Architecture teacher in Graveney School South London.

"Jayden Ali is a unit Leader as well as a Course Tutor on both M ARCH Architecture and MA Cities at Central St Martins. He has a very infectious personality enthusing all young architects that come into contact with him."


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